Just a day and a half til I hop on a plane for the Philippines and volunteering on a medical mission with Operation Smile. I think I’m as ready as I can be. Surely there are things in my suitcase I don’t need and things not in there that I do. But, whatever. After weeks of concentrating on preparation, the focus shifts to the kids. Two weeks during which the rest of my life comes to a halt. It’s amazing how that which feels urgent today will seem unimportant, not at all pressing.
I made name tags for the whole team (see photo). I am the Name Tag Lady as well as the Smiley Lady and the Apostrophe Lady. Laughing at myself for having a tendency to proclaim myself this or that title. But back to the point, I do so love it when people wear name tags, eliminates all the awkwardness of unintended slights made by the forgetful among us (i.e., me). Even someone with a great memory, often struggles with names of new people. After all there’s the heightened stress of meeting someone new, what with thinking up what to say and figuring out whom they are in relationship to the occasion or the setting. Maybe if we worried less about impressing them, and instead focused on being impressed, we could remember their name!
The experience of being part of a medical mission is as close to summer camp for adults as you can get. Long days where we depend on each other, face challenges and forge friendships. Can’t wait. Can’t wait to share the stories of the people I meet. Hope you’ll check the Smiley Lady Blog often over the next 2 weeks.